Among artists listing The Ventures as a favorite or an influence are George Harrison (Beatles), Joe Walsh (James Gang, Eagles), Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), Stephen Stills, Peter Frampton, Roger Fisher (Heart), Stanley Clarke, Stevie Ray Vaughn, John Fogerty (CCR), Jeff Cook (Alabama), and Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits). Blondie, the Go-Gos, and the B52s are groups that list The Ventures in their roots.
More recently, Joe Perry and Tom Hamilton (Aerosmith) have added their names to the list. Keith Moon (the Who), Max Weinberg, and Alan White (Yes) have identified the Ventures as a percussion influence. Even Elton John, in his Starbucks Christmas Collection, pays homage to The Ventures.
Among their chart albums was 1965's Play Guitar with The Ventures, the first musical instrument instruction album ever to hit the Billboard chart. That's influence.
Many publications have cited The Ventures for a variety of innovations. Here are a few examples:
Guitar Player (Jan '87) - 20 Who Mattered
"The Ventures - the quintessential guitar combo of the pre-Beatles era influenced not only styles, but also a generation's choice of instruments."
That same article, in a discussion about the Walk Don't Run album, said it had content that "presaged the surf phenomenon, which was still a couple of years away".
Encyclopedia Britannica On-Line
"The Ventures served as a prototype for guitar-based rock groups".
All Music Guide to Rock
In its section on instrumental rock, states -
"The Ventures were especially influential on the development of surf music".
Encyclopedia of 60's Music
"The Ventures constructed a powerful, compulsive sound that not only became their trademark, but was echoed in the concurrent surfing style".
Goldmine (July ‘99)
In an article titled Rock and Roll's Greatest Instrumental Group, the magazine called the Ventures "Surfing 101", indicating that they could teach or instruct in that sub-genre.
The following list of quotes has been compiled from various media sources. Some were received by The Ventures directly from the artist.
"In the early part of the '60s I was influenced by The Ventures. We (Beach Boys) learned how to play all their songs just by listening to the records. So we learned how to do it by ear."
in presenting the Ventures at their Hall of Fame induction, said of Walk Don't Run "That song started a whole new movement in rock and roll. The sound of it became surf music, and the audacity of it empowered guitarists everywhere".
"The Ventures Walk Don't Run and Perfidia were a big part of my childhood . . .they (The Ventures) were so cool".
(RIAA Country Band of the Century)
"The Ventures have been an inspiration to so many artists in so many musical genres, it's just mind boggling. I know they were a big part of my musical development".
Solo Artist, The Damn Yankees
(The Motor City Madman)
"I learned to play guitar by listening to the recordings of such greats as...The Ventures…".
Yes, John Lennon Plastic Ono Band, Ginger Baker's Airforce
(Said to be the greatest living Rock Drummer)
"The Ventures have inspired so many people to play drums and guitar it is probably impossible to calculate the full impact….but it is extensive...make no mistake about that".
The James Gang, The Eagles, Solo Artist
In response to a question about the greatest guitar solos in guitar history -
"I don't really know if it's a solo or not, but I'd have to say that "Walk, Don't Run" by The Ventures changed an awful lot of guitar players' lives. It was one of the foundational instrumentals. It made instrumentals okay to do . . .
It had been done before with Duane Eddy, but with The Ventures, America discovered the vibrato bar. I didn't even play guitar at the time, but I loved Walk, Don't Run. I was just 13 when that came out in '60, and my mom was making me practice a stupid metal clarinet for orchestra. I borrowed a guitar just to learn how to play that lead part.
A lot of people ended up playing guitar because of that song. We used to look at their second album cover, and nobody could believe that there was a Fender Jazzmaster and a Fender Strat and a perfect Precision. Later on The Ventures went to Mosrites, but that band and that particular song really paved the way for a whole new approach to instrumentals, and "lead guitar" became so much more important in the song".
"They (The Ventures) were the only band of their kind with the magnitude of … you know, they could stand up to … say, the Beatles in that period.
They're a classic and will always remain that way".
Designed pedals for Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck
Commenting upon the first time he and Page heard 2,000 Pound Bee -
"It was a unique sound. Obviously, people had heard slightly distorted sounds on various blues and rockabilly records, but nothing had come out before with this great bumblebee sound. That's what started it all off".